Venom: Let There be Carnage–Sequel Should Top Box-Office

‘Venom’ Sequel Aims for $50 Million-Plus Opening Weekend

“The Many Saints of Newark” and “The Addams Family 2” will compete for second place

Carnage from Columbia Pictures' VENOM: LET
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Sony’s comic book sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage opens in theaters on Friday, October 1, after five delays due to pandemic.

Directed by Andy Serkis, it again stars Tom Hardy as an otherworldly lethal protector.

The superhero movie is estimated to earn $50 million in its opening weekend. But, given the unpredictable moviegoing scene, that figure is a speculation.

Some industry experts have indicated that pent-up anticipation could propel inaugural ticket sales for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” as high as $65 million. Theaters have been without a buzzy new release since Disney’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” opened nearly a month ago. The box office may be primed for a hit. Sony, however, is tempering expectations, knowing that we’re still living through public heath crisis. The studio behind the film projects a debut around $40 million.

The Venom sequel cost $110 million to produce, not including hefty promotional fees. The PG-13 film appeals mostly to male audiences, which could work in its favor. As the film exhibition industry attempts to recover from the pandemic, younger men have fueled box office returns for Marvel’s “Black Widow” and “Shang-Chi,” Universal’s “Fast and Furious” installment “F9″ and the Ryan Reynolds sci-fi comedy “Free Guy.” That’s not to say every movie geared toward boys has been a hit. There have been several duds, like the Warner Bros. superhero adaptation “The Suicide Squad” and Paramount’s “G.I. Joe” entry “Snake Eyes.”

Venom: Let There be Carnage should benefit from playing only in theaters. That’s a deviation from many pandemic-era releases, such as Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” and Warner Bros. entire 2021 slate, all of which have premiered concurrently on streaming services. More often than not, movies that landed day-and-date online have suffered steep declines in the weeks following its opening in theaters.

Critics panned the first Venom, which did not deter comic book enthusiasts. The 2018 film became unexpected box office success, grossing $80 million in its debut and ending its theatrical run with $213 million in America and $856 million worldwide.

It also inspired Sony to greenlight more superhero properties, Jared Leto’s Morbius among them, inspired by its arsenal of Marvel characters.

Venom: Let There be Carnage should top the domestic box office, but it won’t be the only new movie to open nationwide.

The animated comedy “The Addams Family 2” and “The Many Saints of Newark,” a prequel story set in “The Sopranos” universe, will compete for second place, with the former expected to pull ahead.

“The Many Saints of Newark,” playing in 3,180 venues, is the latest Warner movie to debut to $10 million or less while it opens simultaneously on HBO Max.

The studio’s execs maintain that streaming hasn’t cannibalized ticket sales, alluding that movies that struck out at the box office also failed to draw a big audience on HBO Max. Many Saints of Newark isn’t on track to have a big turnout in theaters, but it could prove the exception to the HBO Max effect.

Sopranos fans have been trained to catch up the happenings of the all-powerful mobsters from the comfort of their couch, and longtime devotees to the HBO series could prefer to watch the latest addition at home.

The Many Saints of Newark follows the teenage years of Tony Soprano (portrayed by Michael Gandolfini, son of the late “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini) and company as rival gangsters begin to challenge the crime family’s hold over the city.

David Chase, who created The Sopranos, co-wrote the script with Lawrence Konner.

The PG-rated The Addams Family 2 is projected to make $15 million to $17 million from 3,700 theaters in its first weekend in theaters. That would be much smaller start than its predecessor, 2019’s “The Addams Family,” which amassed $30 million in its opening.

However, the sequel will be available on premium video-on-demand platforms on the same day as its theatrical debut, which will cut into ticket sales. Unlike the HBO Max release plan, in which subscribers can watch new movies at no extra cost, patrons will have to pay $19.99 to rent “The Addams Family 2” and witness the adventures of the morbid Morticia and Gomez and their kooky kin.

Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron and Chloe Grace Moretz round out the voice cast.